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Swedish Foreign Ministry Says Probing Citizens' Arrests Upon Turkey's Request

Swedish Foreign Ministry is working to clarify the reasons behind detention of two of its citizens upon Turkey's request, Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said.


On Thursday, a writer and journalist Hamza Yalcin, who has both Turkish and Swedish citizenship, was detained by the Spanish authorities in Barcelona upon request of Turkey. According to media reports, Yalcin was accused of being involved in preparing terrorist acts.

"Swedish Foreign Ministry requested a meeting with the Swedish citizen arrested in Barcelona in Spain. He was detained on the basis of an international order issued by Turkey. The Foreign Ministry assisted in granting him a lawyer, and is working to find out the nature of the charges," Wallstom said, as quoted in a statement for the media released by the ministry.

In early July, Swedish human rights activist Ali Gharavi was arrested in Turkey among six human rights activists, including Amnesty International's Turkey director Idil Eser and German human rights activist Peter Steudtner.

Speaking of Gharavi, the minister said that the ministry was "working intensively" on the case and that it assumes that "Turkey will release Ali Gharavi if no basis for charges is given."

"The developments in Turkey are reason for serious concern. And the negative trend that we have been seeing for several years has increased recently. Sweden is continuously working to strengthen the respect for human rights in Turkey," Wallstrom stressed.

In July 2016, a failed military coup took place in Turkey, leaving over 240 people killed and some 2,000 injured. Following the failed takeover, Ankara introduced a national state of emergency, facilitating waves of arrests across the country. According to the country's Interior Ministry, a total of 50,510 people have been arrested since the failed coup attempt, including thousands of journalists, diplomats, judges, members of the military and human rights activists.

[Source: Sputnik News, Stockholm, 09Aug17]

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